WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following a week long debate about federal gas taxes, the House approved a $325 billion surface transportation bill on Thursday, The Hill reported.
Passed by a 363-64 vote, the bill calls for spending $261 billion on highways and $55 billion on transit over six years. As expected, the legislation authorizes highway funding for six years, but only if Congress can come up with a way to pay for the final three years. The House voted on nearly 130 amendments before getting to final passage.
The measure must now be conferenced with a separate Senate measure on highways. For the full story, click here.
"On behalf of APTA, our 1,500 member organizations and the millions of Americans that rely on public transportation, I applaud the members of the U.S. House of Representatives for coming together to pass a bipartisan, long-term surface transportation bill that will better address the needs of public transportation and highways.
The public transportation industry is encouraged that the House has taken this action before the November 20 deadline. While we are concerned that only three years of the proposed six-year bill is funded, we will continue to work to ensure that federal funding is provided for all six years. Members of both the House and the Senate need to find adequate funding to meet past state of good repair needs ($86 billion), as well as current and future capital needs.
APTA is committed to working closely with the House and Senate members on the conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate surface transportation bills and to ensure that the final bill includes the highest funding possible."